Why did you move to PPA from the PDP for the governorship election?
Moving away is not the issue. The issue is the platform on which it is convenient for you to run. Actually, I used to be a card carrying member of PDP in Kogi State, but it was impossible for me to get a ticket under PDP and that informed my changing party to PPA.
You will contest with two heavyweights, Abubakar Audu of APC and Idris Wada of PDP who is the incumbent governor. Both of them are from Kogi east which has the numerical strength. What are your chances?
There is a yearning for change even in the eastern part of Kogi State. There is a desire for change in the way things are done. The fact that both flag bearers are from that particular area doesn’t give them a better chance of succeeding. My ticket represents a collective desire for change.
How do you intend to improve the conditions of people in the state if you win?
With my experience, there are things that I can bring to bear that will elevate the state. The potentials of Kogi have not been tapped, not in terms of human resource, I am talking in terms of natural resources and tourism, education and other sectors that we can galvanise to turn around the economy of the state. My own programme will be basically citizen-driven. At the same time, we want to open up the economy of the state to the wider world.
Have you considered the place of money in the project, knowing full well that politics apart from being a game of numbers, also involves money?
I said that it is a collective issue. You see, we are going away from the politics of money gradually. I am not saying that you are not going to spend, but it is not like before. It is now politics of ideology, your plan, what exactly are you bringing to the table, the credibility, the integrity at stake. These are what actually matter now and in my acceptance speech in Lokoja after winning the primary poll I told them that I would be held accountable for every penny of the state. It is going to be a bottom-up approach. The citizens have been yearning for change from poverty, lack of opportunity, employment, basic infrastructure and amenities that make life meaningful. So, that is our strong point. If you notice, the western and central parts of the state have been yearning for change and there have been alliances, independent assessment of who and who should come up and who should run first. Even within the eastern part that has been ruling the state people want a change because they think: ‘we ruled for the last 16 years and we can’t see any meaningful change, let’s try other areas and see whether we will benefit from that.’ People are not looking at religion or where you come from, but who will deliver exactly what will suit the citizens of the state and that is the strong point we have. We might not have the finances to confront all these issues at once, but the issue is that people will not vote wrongly this time around. We are out of the era where people smuggle ballot boxes. Card readers are there for you to be able to evaluate. I am not saying it is full proof but to a large extent, it helps.